Foodventures with our YES Prep student have continued and are more popular than ever! I’ve actually switched to a World Literature curriculum this year -- not only because it’s closer to my heart, but also because it ties to well to introducing food in the classroom.
Laugh it up. I’m not joking.
This past Sunday we took nine confident and capable sophomores to try dim sum for the first time at Ocean Palace. Since we’re reading The Joy Luck Club in class, we’ve had a cultural amuse bouche, and several students were ready for a true main course. Excited were they to show up at school -- on a Sunday -- to meet up with their teachers for a trip to Houston’s Chinatown.
Upon arrival, we told them, “No sodas today!!” [with a fist shake] and they shrugged, “OK.” And then we told them, “You have to try everything!!” [with a fist shake] and they said, “No problem.” We were shocked at how easily they slipped on their adventure caps, trusting us to steer them right.
Our amazing Algebra II teacher is originally from Hong Kong, and giggles broke out when she spoke to our servers in Cantonese. Then, a quick lesson on chopsticks before digging in... Hi-YA! Dishes piled up under the watchful intrigue of the kiddos. They loved the shrimp dumplings, pork buns, and daikon radish cakes. They connected the spongy tripe to meaty menudo. They took turns filling each other’s cups of tea. They each tried a saucy chicken foot. And they fought over the last sugary coconut treat. 100% awesome.
Each student walked away just a little wiser in the ways of the world -- and I walked away contented by teenagers who show a genuine curiosity about our global community. It is a wonder to watch how food can teach, create, unite. The day turned out serene, fast, formidable, and exciting-to-the-max. If only all my school weeks could begin with such varied grace.